The Chapter is concerned about State Senator Bruce McPhersons legislative
proposal to dissolve the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District (the District).
We urge you to contact Senator McPherson and protest this unwise action.
At Senator McPhersons recent public meeting at CSUMB, it became clear that
neither Senator McPherson nor District opponents wanted the District disbanded.
They only wanted to take the direct election of the Districts leadership
from the voters, and give it to local politicians. Their primary argument for
this action was a deceptive advisory election staged by District opponents.
This advisory election was a scheme hatched by local politicians and
developers when the District gained an environmental majority in a public election.
The voting public had wanted a change because they were outraged by the Robles
Del Rio water transfers which allowed extremely wealthy landowners to purchase
water credits at hugely inflated prices, thus jumping the line of regular folks
waiting for water.
In this advisory election District opponents outspent District supporters
by 70,000 to 1, misstated District expenditures by 96%, and failed to note that
approximately one half of district dollars are allocated to environmental restoration
projects. Given the opponents overwhelming advantage in funding (almost
all PAC dollars), and their use of this money to present inaccurate information
and meaningless slogans to the public, this advisory vote provided
no reliable advice.
This issue is important because Senator McPhersons bill might slow a solution
to our water problems. The District is working on plans that will bring the Peninsula
into compliance with State and Federal laws to restore the Carmel River, without
being growth inducing. Because of this latter fact, the Districts work stands
an excellent chance of being accepted by the voters. Future expansion of water
supply for growth would be subject to a public vote.
The District has one other fundamental advantage over the proposals being considered
by Senator McPherson. The public is its boss. If the public does not like District
policies, it will replace its members, which it did before the advisory
We need the District to work on their alternative to CalAms proposed mega
desalinization facility at Moss Landing. Under the oversight of the Public Utilities
Commission, the Moss Landing plant would be controlled by RWE AG, the German owners
of CalAm. RWE AG owns or controls over 640 corporations worldwide, and last year
had revenues of over $50 billion. This conglomerate is in the business of selling
water. The public will have no say if and when RWE AG expands its facility to
promote growth on the Peninsula.
RWE AG also owns Thames Water, an English corporation. American Waterworks, which
owns CalAm, reports directly to Thames Water. In recent years, Thames Water ranked
as the worst polluter in England and Wales, according to the Environment Agency
for England and Wales. Between 1999 and 2001 (most recent data), Thames was convicted
of environmental and public health violations 24 times and fined approximately
We are concerned about the future of water in Monterey County and the precedent
this is setting for other communities. We urge you to contact Senator McPherson
and Assemblymember John Laird, who can stop this bill in the Assembly, and ask
them to leave water management decisions with the voters, not the politicians,
of the Monterey Peninsula. See addresses on p. 3.